Mischa Barton Has ‘Truly Great’ Reunion With Her ‘OC’ Parents

A TV family reunion Mischa BartonI posed with them for a picture Tate Donovan Melinda Clarke, who played her parents in the 2000s teen drama The O.C.

“SO, THIS HAPPENED! Cooper family reunion! Warmed my heart to see these two,” Clarke, 53, captioned a Monday, August 22, Instagram selfie with her fellow Fox alums. “So great to see you all,” Donovan, 58, commented. The fan convention in Charleston, South Carolina hosted the get-together.

Tate Donovan and Melinda Clarke.
Courtesy Melinda Clarke

Barton, for her portion, shared a picture via her Instagram Story that showed her former family members. Gossip GirlAlums Chace Crawford Jessica Szohr. “It was truly great to catch up with mom & dad,” the former Hills: New Beginnings star, 36, wrote.

The British-American actress’ character on The O.C.Marissa Cooper, the famously deceased, was involved in a car accident during the finale of season 3. The Beautiful LifeThe alum spoke out about her decision to leave in a May 2021 discussion with E! News.

“It’s a bit complicated. It began very early because it had a lot of to do with them adding. Rachel [Bilson] in last minute as, after the first season, a series regular and evening out everybody’s pay,” she told the outlet, adding that “sort of general bullying from some of the men on set” also played a role in her departure.

The Sixth Sense actress explained that it was also a challenge dealing with the fame “thrust specifically at me” as a result of the show’s popularity. “Just dealing with, like, the amount of invasion I was having in my personal life, I just felt very unprotected, I guess is the best way to put it,” she said.

Bilson, 40, who played Barton’s best friend Summer Roberts, addressed her former costar’s comments during a May 2021 episode of her podcast, “Welcome to the OC, Bitches!” Clarke cohosts the podcast.

“The one thing that I can say is, like, in one of her first comments she says that I was added last-minute after the first season, which is actually completely false and not what happened,” the Hart of DixieAn alum said. “So, it starting out that way, I was like, ‘Well, that’s misinformation. This is where we are going. And what is she trying to say?’”

The native Californian also addressed the Lost and Delirious actress’ claim that she was treated poorly by some of the men on set. “I don’t know who she’s referring to, because I didn’t personally witness any of that,” Bilson said, adding that she would like Barton to appear on their podcast to share more of her perspective.

Clarke, who played Marissa’s mother Julie Cooper, sympathized with the “overwhelming and chaotic” nature of leading a TV show at a young age. “We knew there’s a lot of pressure on her, but if it was really that bad of an experience, that’s not right for any young person. Some of the comments were very perplexing to me, so I don’t know, I don’t know what the truth is about that, but I do know that yes, this was an enormous amount of pressure — for everybody,” she said at the time.

A June 2021 essay Harper’s Bazaar U.K.Barton claimed that Marissa Cooper’s portrayal made her feel pressured to give up her virginity before it was her time.

“Here I was playing a confident character who was fast and loose and yet I was still a virgin,” she explained at the time. “I knew it was important to get this thing — my virginity — that was looming over me, the elephant in the room if you will, out of the way. I started to really worry that I couldn’t play this character if I didn’t hurry up and mature a little.”

Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as the editors of Us break down each week’s top entertainment news stories!
Listen on Google Play Music